The countdown for the opening of the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) at the Films Division premises in Mumbai has begun. NMIC has appealed people from within the industry to come forward and donate memorabilia related to Indian cinema.
The upcoming National Museum of Indian Cinema’s advisory committee, chaired by veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal, has made a fervent appeal to people associated with the film industry to come forward and donate rare artefacts, vintage instruments and other memorabilia to the National Museum, which chronicles the century-old journey of cinema in India.
The committee, which met in Mumbai, also gave its nod for the thematic display in Phase II of the museum. National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata, under the Ministry of Culture, is curating the museum.
Secretary, Information and Broadcasting, Ajay Mittal, who was a special invitee at the meeting, said that the government has attached enormous importance to NMIC, to build it as a platform to present various facets of Indian cinema.
Shyam Benegal said, “A visit to the film museum should be an engrossing experience and we should have a number of interactive sections, where viewers can watch clips from classics, listen to rare recordings or learn about how cinema was made in the bygone era.”
NMIC is conceived as a two-phase museum. Phase I is housed in the heritage building – Gulshan Mahal, mostly displaying static artefacts and telling the story of Indian cinema in a chronological form. Phase II of the museum, being housed in the modern building will sport over 40 interactive galleries devoted to cinema across India, a journey of Indian cinema from the silent era to talkies, technology and creativity in cinema as well as a children’s activity gallery.
The museum, spread over five levels, would showcase various facets of Indian cinema from its early years to the present period. It would also have interactive exhibitions on all verticals of filmmaking, covering cinematography, editing, sound, script writing and screenplay, among others. There would also be special sections on regional cinema, Hindi cinema, documentaries and Indian film music. The new building housed in the Films Division complex on Pedder Road in south Mumbai would also have two mid-size auditoriums, viewing galleries and cafeteria.
Veteran filmmakers, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Krishna Swamy; noted cinematographer AK Bir; former Director of National Film Archives of India, Suresh Chhabria; film conservationist Shivendra Dungarpur; film critic Sanjit Narvekar; Director General of National Council of Science Museums, Anil Manekar; Director General of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and film curator Amrit Gangar were among those who were present at the meeting.
The progress of the national museum was also reviewed at a meeting recently by the Information and Broadcasting ministry. I&B Secretary Sunil Arora held the review meeting which focussed on phase II of the museum that would be housed in a state-of-the-art new building being specially built for the purpose. The progress of civil construction was reviewed and museum plans were discussed during the meeting. Arora said that every effort was being made to make the second phase of the museum interactive, giving visitors a unique viewing experience. He also added that the museum should highlight the cultural and social impact of cinema.